Sunday, December 02, 2007

What’s the Alternative? (Part 1)

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about the future of energy production. I think most people agree that fossil fuel based energy, weather from oil, coal or whatever, needs to be reduced and eventually eliminated. The reasons for this vary: limited supply, climate change, national security, etc. Whichever reason or reasons you believe, lets agree we need to find a better source for our energy needs. So what’s the alternative?

The discussion led me to write this blog. As I started thinking about it, I realized this topic is probably too big to handle in a single blog, so I’m planning to to write a series of entries on this topic, each one touching on a different aspect or potential energy source. Total worldwide energy consumption in 2004 was about 15 TW, that’s 15,000,000,000,000 Watts (source). The energy production breakdown looks something like this:

The basic breakdown is as follows:

  • Fossil Fuel (Oil, Coal, Gas): 75%
  • Renewables (Biomass, Hydro, Solar, Wind, etc.): 19%
  • Nuclear: 6%
So, assuming fossil fuels are on their way out, I’ll focus on the others. I’ll also try to include some other potential sources such as hydrogen fuel cells. Next time I’ll start with Nuclear.

1 comment:

Ed Miller said...

Follow up articles at GreenValhalla.